We are Relying on One Another
- 1 Article
Young people serve as consumers, employees, and future leaders of businesses worldwide. In turn, businesses have a responsibility to respect children’s rights as well as their futures. Since 2007, shifts in the global economy have resulted in an increase in the number of young people out of work by 3.5 million individuals. Just over one year ago at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, global business leaders called for a major campaign to increase youth apprenticeship opportunities. Further collaboration between young people, businesses and governments must take place if we are to address our current global challenges and ensure economic stability for all.
College students in Central New York are addressing these challenges head-on through Social Business Consulting, a student-run organization that provides pro-bono consulting services for social entrepreneurs globally. Students are currently working with organizations on improving social services in Southeast Asia and on supporting community development in Indonesia, among other projects. One project, in particular, is focused on expanding training programs for unemployed youth in India through EduBridge India.
As a student at Cornell University the previous four years and as a member of Social Business Consulting, I collaborated with organizations addressing youth employment in East Africa and North America. These collaborations, simultaneously, enabled me to engage in hands-on job training. Such relationships were mutually beneficial, as students walked away with new skills and the partnering organizations acquired additional resources.
Though Social Business Consulting is but one organization, it is a larger statement on the fruits of collaboration. Challenges pertaining to the economy or the environment require sustained solutions. The leadership behind these solutions will come from our generation. Businesses must not only support apprenticeship programs, but they must also engage more directly with young people in an effort to form a comprehensive response to the economic times and ensure future progress for both business and young people, alike. After all, we are relying on one another.
Chris "Kit" Dobyns, 24, United States (student at the University of Oxford)
 Elder, Sara, Steven Kapsos, and Theo Sparreboom. Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013: A Generation at Risk. Geneva: International Labour Office, 2013. (http://www.ilo.org/global/research/global-reports/global-employment-trends/youth/2013/lang--en/index.htm)
 B20 Task Force on Employment. B20 Task Force Recommendations: Concrete Actions for Los Cabos. Los Cabos, Mexico (G20 Summit). 2012. (b20.org/documentos/B20-Task-Force-Recommendations.pdf)